Shaun the Sheep joins MyFarm

I LOVE Shaun the Sheep. One of my (very tenuous) claim’s to fame is that one of my best friends husband is the cousin of the guy who does the Shaun the Sheep voice (yes, that is Mr Tumble and no I can’t get you an autograph because even I’m not allowed to ask for one! lol). The first time I saw Shauny I nearly fell off my chair I was laughing so hard. Definitely one of my favourites.

Arrdman Animations has partnered with the Trust to encourage families to learn about food and farming through the Trust’s mass online farming project, MyFarm. Shaun the Sheep is now a member of MyFarm and has his own page on the website, with online games and downloadable posters. To find out more visit

A Playmobil secret…


If you are a fan of Playmobil and you have children under five years of age, you will LOVE playmobil123. I’d never heard of it before and we discovered it quite by accident when I was looking for wooden food toys on holiday. It’s “classic” Playmobil but is branded as being suitable for 18 months old upwards. The only website that sells it in the UK has Playmobil123 branded as being suitable for ages five years + but I think this is because they’ve lumped it into the “Playmobil” brand.

It’s the little details that are fantastic. There are no small moving parts that can be swallowed and figures “slot” into each toy so that they can be used by small hands. We bought the boat and the motorbike. ( I was slightly gutted when I found out how much we’d paid for them abroad when they are practically half price on the UK website).

With the boat that we have the whale has a float that allows it to either float flat in the water or stand on its tail. The motorbike has a “go faster” button which allows it to go really fast on hard floors. I’m not sure who was more enthusiastic about these details, our little one or my husband and I!

Click here for details about how to order Playmobil123 in the UK: I’m hoping to buy some more playmobile123 at my next pay day so I’ll let you know whether the site is any good.

Easter Holiday Activity Inspiration (free or very cheap)


If it’s getting to that point in the Easter holidays where you need some inspiration, the following free or very cheap ideas might help.

Basingstoke Odeon

Grown-ups go FREE with ODEON Kids screenings ODEON Kids are exclusive screenings for children, tickets from only £1* and adults go FREE! Available on Saturday and Sunday mornings as well as school holidays.

Alvin And The Chipmunks – Chipwrecked – today only at 11am

A Monster In Paris 2D – 11am Fri – Mon

Out and About

NetMum’s has a really good area which provides inspiration for things to do if you need to get out of the house. Some of the suggestions are:

  • Nature Walks (See yesterday’s post here for more inspiration)
  • Local Library
  • Galleries (See previous post here about the Willis Museum Easter activities)
  • Parks (See previous post here about local parks and open spaces in the area)
  • Country Walks
  • Bike Riding
  • Fly a Kite
  • Visit to Grandma and Grandad’s house (if they live close enough!)
  • Sensory Walks (See yesterdays post here for inspiration)
  • Fishing
  • Grocery shopping (Maybe check out an independent butchers like the one in Old Basing, or a local Bakery like the one in Bramley)
  • Visit the pet shop
  • Bird watching
  • Trips to the local toy shop
  • Walk a dog
  • Help a neighbour

For more details and other ideas click here.

Also check out this post I found which has some great ideas for Easter Holidays on a Budget: Easter Holidays on a Budget

Nature Detectives

The Woodland Trust – Nature Detectives website is such a brilliant site. I signed up to their website about a year ago and have been so impressed with the information that they send. There are lots of free downloadable packs which provide lots of free activities and ideas for your children, depending on the time of year. At the moment there is an Easter Pack, a Minibeast pack, a Picnic Kit, Treasure Hunting and an Adventure pack. They also have a free Bluebell Pack that shows you where your nearest bluebell wood is.

If you are looking for free activities that can keep your children entertained for hours, I recommend having a look at the Nature Detectives website and signing up for their emails or “Liking” their Facebook page:

(Many of these activities are also applicable even if it’s raining ;-))

Seasonal Blogging

I’m on holiday this week and I had the best intentions. I was going to spend two hours a day working on my blog, when my little one was asleep. I had great plans for updating Pages, putting posts together and getting the survey ready. Then the sun started shinning and it all went out the window.

This week I have been mostly outside enjoying the fabulous sunshine. Even in the evening I’ve been out in the garden, pottering around, rather than being tied to the computer. For the first time in a long while I don’t feel guilty about it. NHM is my hobby, I work on it for the pleasure of sharing information with you and feeling like I’m giving something back. Now that the sun is shining (and who knows how long that will last!) I’m going to enjoy it as much as I can. I hope you are able to too!

So, NHM will be a bit sporadic for the next couple of weeks. I have a few “Things to do Posts” with details of lots to do for the Easter break which I will post up, but other than that, things may be a bit quiet during Easter. It all depends on whether the sun stops shining!


How to keep all the family entertained during Easter

I blogged about the Hampshire Culture-All Passport last year. It’s such a great idea as it allows you free entry into many sites in Hampshire for 12 months and is a bargain price of £75.

Normally that includes entry for 2 adults and two children but they have a brilliant offer on for the whole of April which allows two adults and FIVE children to get unlimited access to top Hampshire attractions.

So if you are wondering how you are going to keep the family entertained for the whole of Easter, this is the answer!

The Culture- All Passport gives you unlimited access for 12 months to the following sites:

and unlimited free parking at these paid-for parking sites:

They also have a free Easter website which has details about Easter entertainment and events in Hampshire:

You can purchase a Culture-All passport here or find more details from my previous post: Culture-All Passport.

Quidco – an easy way to make savings

I was a little apprehensive about using Quidco but after they paid £24.56 into my bank account I decided that there might actually be something to it! The idea is that the site gets commission for recommending paying shoppers, and that commission  is paid back to you. You can get cashback in two ways, either from registering your card on the website which you can then use in certain retailers or you can just visit the Quidco website before you do your internet shopping. There are 3,000 retailers already listed. It’s not a lot of commision that you get but these days every little bit helps.

I used Quidco to change our electricity provider which I received £20.00 from. I also used them when searching to buy some baby items from Mothercare and Sainsburys. If you are looking to buy something online, it’s worth checking out Quidco in advance to see if there are any relevant deals that you can find.

The biggest thing for me is remembering to look at Quidco first and then forgetting about it because it takes about two months for the money to come through. However, it was a nice perk when it did! Be warned that there are down sides to consumer cashback sites, as highlighted in the article below. I haven’t experienced any of this though and found Quidco to be much better than expected.

Happy Shopping!

Cashback sites are a consumer rights minefield

Family Friendly Festivals 2012

I read an article recently which prompted me to do some research on this year’s Festivals that are appropriate for little children. I know that festivals aren’t everyone’s thing but if you are interested in taking your little one along, you should be able to find something appriopriate below. Note that there is a festival in Hampshire in July which is appropriate for children. Now, let’s hope the weather catches up with the idea that summer’s on it’s way!!!

Wychwood Festival, 8-10 June,

The Eden Festival, 15-17th June,

Blissfields Festival 2012 (in Hampshire!), 29th June – 1st July,

Cornbury, 29th June – 1st July,

Larmer Tree festival, 11th to 15th July,

Latitude Festival, 13th to 15th July,

The Deer Shed Festival, 20 – 22nd July,

Lollibop Festival lollibop is the only festival where all the entertainment is for children. August – date TBA,

M&S Simply Food – New in Chineham

If you are looking for a little bit of decadence or maybe just somewhere new to go for a coffee with your Mum friends, a new M&S Simply Food (with cafe!) has opened at Chineham Shopping Centre. It’s open from 8am to 9pm Mon to Sat and 10am to 4pm on Sunday.  The Cafe is open all of this time too and looks like it has a good selection of cakes and a few nutritious meals. We are thinking of going there for dinner one night as it’s quiet and not too expensive. An added bonus is that there’s lots of parking (3 car parks) which is free and has several parent parking spaces.

I had a nose at the prices and for some of the products they aren’t as expensive as you would think. They also have some lovely flowers, Mothers Day presents and Easter presents available.

In the Cafe, there are about 8 high chairs and they also have a lift and baby changing facilities which are sparkly new. The baby changing facilities are in the men’s and ladies (I made my husband check! lol) which I was impressed with. No sexism at M&S!

Let me know if you get around to checking it out and if you like it.

(Post updated May 2014 as M&S Simply Food is now open until 9pm Mon to Sat) 

Related Pages


Basingstoke Babies


Part Time Work in Basingstoke

I know a lot of Mum’s are looking for part time roles to support their childcare responsibilities. I’ve read a lot recently in the National news about how the Government is supposed to be supporting women at work and how big companies in the UK are looking to remove the “glass ceiling”. I find this quite ironic given that I’ve never seen a part time advertised, unless it’s for administrator, NHS worker or teacher. If the Government and UK companies were really looking to support women in the work place, then flexible working would be advertised and would be far more predominant in the work place. For those of you who can’t return to work for whatever reason (childcare costs, etc.) but are looking to make some money and keep working in some capacity I’ve been doing a bit of research looking into part time work that is available in the area. Below are a few of the things that I’ve discovered that you might be interested in.

Kasia, a NHM reader, contacted me asking me to share details about a part time opportunity for Mum’s in the area: Need to earn some extra money; looking for a change in lifestyle; want to save money on your own skincare and cosmetics; want “a hobby”; want to meet some new friends; looking to do something different; want a new job??? Whatever you are looking for in 2012 Oriflame Cosmetics can help you. Oriflame sells natural cosmetics that have never been tested on animals. You can see more information on the website and even see a catalogue. We are FREE to JOIN, you choose your own hours, and depending on what you are looking for you can earn yourself a few extra £’s a week, and at the same time, have the potential to start to have your own business. If you are interested, please contact Kasia on or click on her Facebook page “Oriflame Basingstoke” for more details.

If you are looking for a part time role, keep an eye on the local press (Gazette and Observer) and it’s always good to put the word out to other friends who might know of opportunities.

There are lots of websites that support working Mum’s looking for opportunities. These are some that I have found which look pretty good:

Mum and working. They also have a Facebook Page. Check out our new flexible work listings

Hope they provide you with some inspiration!

Related Posts

Flexible Working

Parental Leave